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A new sewer system for Greenville and a small state-of-the-art cogeneration plant were just two items discussed by Indian Valley Community Services District directors Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Director Brad Smith, who is on the ad hoc committee for the cogen plant, said it is time to look for investors.
While directors have made no concrete plans to develop the biomass site, they did approve the concept last year and agreed last month to work on seeking investors with Tad Mason of TSS Consultants.
Smith and Mike Yost, directors on the committee, are working with Mason to develop a request for information.
This will be their first step in seeking an investor, or a developer with the means to construct and manage the project in exchange for most of the profits.
“None of us know how this will work,” Smith said. “All we know at this point is that there are deadlines … this is just something that will get the ball rolling and we don’t have to commit to anything.”
Chairman Brad Shelters said he was concerned that voting approval for seeking investors would commit them to having the plant.
Director Jane Braxton Little stressed that directors would never have a plant built if there wasn’t full support from the community.
Delbert Lehr attended the meeting and voiced both his concerns and interest in the project.
Lehr owns one of the properties identified as a possible location and has had experience running two molding plants in the area.
He was concerned that the study has been funded with public money and it appears to him that allowing solicitation of investors would give some people the inside track.
“In my mind, all the people should have the chance to come in and do better for you,” he said.
“I’d like to see someone here have a plant, maybe even on my property,” Lehr said.
Directors will meet to review the request for information, and Little expressed her hope that Lehr would attend that meeting as well.
Little stressed there would be community meetings called before any concrete decisions about building the plant were made.
“It’s been a long time coming, I never thought we’d see this day,” said David Keller, of the Plumas County Community Development Commission.
He was speaking about the receipt of the state grant for a sewer engineering study.
The study will make it possible for directors to position themselves for construction funding.
The county will administer the study grant on behalf of the district.
So now the district is ready to move forward with the project in coordination with the county, Caltrans and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. for the planned streetscape improvements in 2015, Keller said.
Next steps include a request for qualifications in order to solicit engineering firms that might be interested in the project, which Keller will do via a professional clearinghouse for wide exposure.
When bids are received, the district will need a selection committee. Keller suggested that Jesse Lawson and Robert Perreault from the county be involved with the committee.
Keller said he would like the process to move forward as quickly as possible, because meeting the 2015 deadline is going to be a problem.
“We might have to figure out a strategy to complete part of the project in order to meet that deadline,” he added.
Keller said he wants Lawson to attend an upcoming grant workshop where he can sit down at tables with people from agencies that fund these types of projects.
He said he will come back to the board at a later date with information about funding.
The current grant is $7,000 with $3,200 pitched in as a match from the district.
If all goes according to plan, the district should be in a position to go out for construction funding by April.
“Stay tuned,” he said as a parting remark.
Barring special meetings, directors of the Indian Valley Community Services District meet the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., in the Indian Valley Professional Building on Highway 89, next to Plumas Bank.
For more information, call 284-7224.
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